Skip to comments.The Mommy Mystique
Posted on 02/20/2005 9:05:34 PM PST by tbird5
When Judith Warner returned to Washington after several years of living in France, she felt she was a pretty good mother to her two young daughters.
A few months back in the States cured her of that. Suddenly, she was caught up in the modern American mommy rat race and wondering why on Earth what had been so easy in France was so hard back at home.
Friends and acquaintances all seemed fellow sufferers, despite outward appearances. "They had comfortable homes, two or three children, smiling, productive husbands, and a society around them saying they'd made the best possible choices for their lives," she writes, "yet many of them seemed miserable." Like hers, their unhappiness was "a choking cocktail of guilt and anxiety and resentment and regret," a mixture that is "poisoning motherhood for American women today."
Taking a page from Betty Friedan, Warner calls this situation "the Mommy Mystique." (Many of the 150 women Warner interviewed for this book call it merely "this mess.") It's a "culture of total motherhood," she writes, that demands the suppression of mothers' ambitions -- unless those ambitions were directed toward getting Jackson into the best preschool in town or helping Maya score a better grade on her social studies test. Stay-at-home mothers are made to feel inadequate if they want too much time away from their kids. Working mothers are giving up on careers, either because the cost of child care proves prohibitive or because they can't tune out the guilt. Many end up living a souped-up version of a June Cleaver lifestyle, complete with breadwinner dad and PTA-obsessed mother, all the while reassuring themselves that this was their choice. Their toned-down expectations and low-level resentment manifest themselves in sexless marriages and increased rates of depression.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
They just need to move to red states and it'll all be better.
Go back to France.
Certainly it cannot be argued that there is confusion on the subject.
A whole lotta whining going on. Must be hormones.
Yeah, I'll be thinking of my wife's "suffering" when I'm out the door and on the road at 5:30 am.
Not worth much, IMHO.
The same France that goes on vacation and lets their parents die in the heat?
Does the Washington Post keep running the same stories over and over? The same unhappy, hopeless people interviewed by the same dreary reporters.
My dear husband leaves at 5 AM and gets back around 4 PM.
I guess chicks today haven't got enough to be pissed off about.
Every generation we go round and round as the wheel reinvents itself.
Women who sit around worrying about what everyone else is doing will never be happy. It doesn't matter if all the other women stay home polishing the silverware, or work as investment bankers. They will be unhappy because it is impossible to be happy that way. This woman falls squarely into that category.
silly people don't understand that a husband and wife have each other by the short hairs. If the couple doesn't keep their focus on God. ummm. things get hairy.
... The fact that you are stressed out and "feeling unfulfilled" has nothing whatever to do with a lack of support by society at large. It has everything to do with the fact that you are so obsessed with keeping up with the Joneses that you are incapable of being your own person. ...It's not about Quality Time Quotas, Brain Enrichment, or all that other crap. It's called Getting On With It. My grandmother, she of the sixth-grade education and the 14 hour days in the cotton mill and mother of three happy middle-class kids, would laugh in your face for complaining and tell you that these things are NOT HARD. Of course, if you're a status-conscious twit who can't unclench enough to understand that dashing off to K-Mart in your sweatpants is not a sign of abject failure in motherhood, then I imagine things get a lot harder for you.
...It's not about Quality Time Quotas, Brain Enrichment, or all that other crap. It's called Getting On With It. My grandmother, she of the sixth-grade education and the 14 hour days in the cotton mill and mother of three happy middle-class kids, would laugh in your face for complaining and tell you that these things are NOT HARD. Of course, if you're a status-conscious twit who can't unclench enough to understand that dashing off to K-Mart in your sweatpants is not a sign of abject failure in motherhood, then I imagine things get a lot harder for you.
Watch out Mama! In 40 years they'll probably bake you alive in an unairconditioned attic during a heatwave while they take their vacations by the seashore.
Nothing like the self destruction of the libs.
They are trying so hard to destroy American families, but they're only destroying their own.
So while they divorce themselves, kill their babies, drive their non-aborted children into excessive drug usage, and inseminate everything except a female egg, they give us in the Red States --- who are more apt to encourage families --- more of an advantage in terms of political numbers.
Poor libs don't seem to understand the unintended consequence of their efforts.
You got it. People like this are followers. Always trying to keep up with the Jones's, whether it's career, material things, their kids' activities etc.
They don't do things because it's what they enjoy, but only to impress others. Bah.
Silly woman.. Happiness and joy comes from the inside out, not the outside in.. - Trix Rabbit..